We had an ice cream social at work for autism this past week. For every employee that signed their name and had a bowl of ice cream (or frozen yogurt), my company would donate $1 to Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is striving to provide autism awareness for those who are unfamiliar. I am all for charitable donations, and my blood sugar was going low, so I joined my coworkers.
Upon grabbing my scoop of ice cream, then adding some walnuts, I was slightly taken back at the conversation my boss struck up… and she knows that I am a type 1 diabetic. “You know, you need to be careful in eating all of that stuff. Diabetes is something that needs to be managed well and if it’s not there are a lot of complications you can have. Don’t overindulge and overdo it, kiddo.”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I am screaming inside, and she has no idea how much I want to rip her head off!
I understand that her statement was meant well. And, I understand that many people who aren’t directly affected by type 1 diabetes would have no idea how much work is involved in managing blood sugar control; By directly effected I mean T1D yourself, parent of a young T1D child, sibling to T1D, husband/wife to T1D. They are completely unaware of how often I check my blood sugar, or how much insulin I give myself, or even what exactly good blood sugar control is!
I responded, “I know it’s important to have good blood sugars. I been getting my a1C numbers down. My blood sugar is low right now, and this is my special treat to get my numbers back up.”
She then proceeded to tell me that I need to watch with the smoking and drinking. I have quit smoking (only my electronic cigg). And I really don’t drink all that much anymore. I had 2 long island iced teas when I was out with friends a few weeks ago, and the next morning I felt like I was hit by a truck! I’m not so young anymore, and I’m married, so going out every night isn’t as appealing as it used to be. I rather sit on the couch, snuggled up and watching a movie. But to my boss, I am just a handful of years older than her children, so I guess she felt concerned.
The conversation only got worse when she started telling my about her mother who had diabetes. She would watch over her, and give her insulin. “Which type is the bad type?” she asked. “It depends on what you consider ‘bad.’ Personally, I prefer to say I have the better type because I was diagnosed so early and have had to deal with diabetes for so much of my life, I don’t really remember what life was like before I had diabetes. But then again, people say I have the ‘bad’ type because I am on insulin and have been dealing with it for most of my life. Guess it depends on if you look at the cup as half empty or half full.” Her response, “well, my mom had the same kind as you because she was on insulin.”
“Both types of diabetics can be on insulin. Being on insulin does not mean that you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It only means that your pancreas isn’t creating enough insulin for your body, so you need to supplement it with insulin shots or the pump like I have. I am a type 1 diabetic because my pancreas creates zero insulin. People who’s pancreas creates little insulin, but not enough for their body, are considered type 2 diabetics. They tend to get it later on in life and have to manage it with diet & exercise along with medication or insulin.” After my explanation, she got very quite because I clearly knew what I was talking about. I may have started to sound a bit frustrated by this point. I made one last statement, “She probably had type 2 diabetes and just needed to take insulin.” Only 5% of people living with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
Our conversation thankfully drifted off into a different direction at this point.
I wish I could advocate conversations like this with everyone who knows someone with diabetes — being type 1 or type 2 or gestational or pre-diabetes. It is extremely important to know the difference, know how to manage or fix a blood sugar reading, and know what a normal/good blood sugar is. According to WebMD, blood sugars should range between 70 – 130 mg/dL before meals, and lower than 180mg/dL after a meal.
The American Diabetes Association considers an a1C of 7% as ‘normal.’ I may not have ‘normal’ blood sugars for my entire lifetime, but I will never have them bad for long enough to endure diabetic complications. Keeping your blood sugar levels close to normal will prevent many complications such as kidney disease or kidney failure, strokes, heart attack, vision loss or blindness, poor circulation in the legs and feet or nerve damage. Wounds also heal slowly with uncontrolled diabetes, and the potential for amputation increases with high blood sugars.
I hate to say numbers, but my last a1C was 6.9% and I was jumping for joy! I work my ass off in order to keep my blood sugars in ‘normal’ range. I test my blood sugars approximately 8 times per day, and wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that alerts me when I’m higher or lower than I should be. Keeping a very close eye on your blood sugar level continuously throughout the day is the only sure way to stay healthy and avoid any complications.
I recently found this great little website called PumpPeelz.com.
They make these nifty little stickers and covers just for your insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). I’m a graphic designer, so I wanted to create my own design for my Dexcom CGM. I ordered mine last week and have patiently have been waiting.
We are going to resend this design to you. It somehow got moved during printing, leaving some white space. You will receive a new one next week!
I really appreciate the effort given from pumppeelz. I am very excited to decorate my new Dexcom share. The pumppeelz sticker is a lot like a clear, protective cover on a cell phone. So far, it seems to be very sturdy!
With my new Dexcom share, I ordered it in the black color. I’m not too much of a “girly girl” and I began to feel like I was with my pink receiver (and the pink case on my OmniPod meter that you can see is this post).
For now, I am going to wait til next week for the new one before completely sticking this new black & purple design onto my CGM. (If you’ve seen any of my wedding photos, my cell phone or my car, you’d know black and purple are more my colors anyway!)
I can’t wait to make my Dexcom CGM look pretty! Super excited about this new product, and glad it’s not super expensive either. Click here to find out what other device covers they make to make your diabetes products prettier.
I don’t really post non-diabetic things here, so sorry if this is slightly out of the ordinary. I’m just trying to have a little bit of fun, and let you learn more about me! (And if you need to complain, see the comments section below).
So here it goes:
1. Four names people call me other than my real name.
1. In high school, my best friend called me “Rapunzel” because I had really long hair, and never “let it down.” Haha, yup it was always up in a ponytail.
2. Super-CALLA-fragalistic-expe-alladocious. Just cuz it’s funny.
3. “Calla Lily”. You have no idea how much this would annoy me when I was younger. Yes, I’m named after a flower.
4. Mrs. Lugnut – At our wedding, my sister’s maid of honor speech was the best I’ve heard! My hubby and I met because he “forgot” to put a lug-nut on my car. In her speech, she said, “You may now be Mr. and Mrs. Michalski, but in my eyes, you’ll forever be known as Mr. and Mrs. Lugnut!”
2. Four jobs I’ve had.
1. Ted’s Hot Dogs — first job.
2. Computer Lab Assistant — while in my early years of college. Good job, but working til 2am sucked!
3. The entire communications and marketing department at a small real estate firm.
4. Graphic Designer at a fitness club (current job & loving it!)
3. Four places I’ve lived
1. Mahopac, NY
2. New Rochelle, NY
3. Clarence, NY (outside of Buffalo)
4. Niagara Falls, NY
(AND hopefully soon, I can add Putnam Valley, NY to the list).
4. Four places I’ve visited
1. Zurich, Switzerland
2. Barcelona, Spain
3. Venice, Italy
5. Four things I prefer not to eat
1. Tomato Sauce
2. Pizza (I love it, but boy does it mess up my blood sugars!)
3. Oranges — to hard to peel
4. Whole grain breads, and carbs, and sugar. Oh my goodness — I hate diabetes!
6. Four of my favorite foods
1. Cheese. All and any kind. I’m a total “cheese-head”
2. Philly Cheese Steak
3. Hot dogs with mac & cheese
4. Stuffed Shells (and apparently my mother-in-law loves mine too — she recently asked how I made them! lol)
7. Four things I’m looking forward to this year
1. Closing on our first house
2. Renovating & painting our house
3. Visiting Orlando & enjoying some much needed sun
4. Our one year wedding anniversary. I can’t wait to actually taste our wedding cake! (Yes, I ate some on our wedding day, but my blood sugar was low so I pretty much shoved it down my throat. I can’t wait to actually enjoy it.)
8. Four things I’m always saying
1. “Whatever” / “Whatever you say” (mostly to my husband)
2. “You want this by when?” (mostly to myself, at work, whenever marketing plans are submitted way to late)
3. “Can you feed the dog?” (at home, to my husband while I’m cooking dinner)
4. “I wish I could do yoga tonight” (to my co-workers at 4:30pm when my blood sugars are lower than they should be)
So there you go! Hopefully you learned some interesting stuff about yours truly.
Respond below with some of your 4 memes. I’d love to learn more about you too (diabetes & non-diabetes related)!
If you have been following in the diabetes community over the last month or so, you may have noticed that Dexcom G4 PLATINUM, a continuous glucose monitoring system, came out with a new device.
Sharing your glucose data has never been easier
The all-new Dexcom G4® PLATINUM System with ShareTM features BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) wireless communication built into the receiver, enabling remote monitoring capabilities. Through secure wireless connections, the Dexcom G4® PLATINUM Receiver with ShareTM allows remote viewing of glucose levels, trends and data between the person with diabetes and their spouse, grandparent or other loved ones from an Apple iPhone® or iPod touch®.
Sharing is caring, so whether you’re in college, you live in another state, or you’re going on a business trip, the Dexcom G4® PLATINUM System with ShareTM is there to keep you and your loved ones connected and informed.
Learn more from the Dexcom website here: http://www.dexcom.com/dexcom-g4-platinum-share
I was so excited upon reading the article, and had to get one for myself! I received a new receiver in late January, so I was automatically eligible for the free upgrade of Dexcom G4 PLATINUM with Share.
But what’s different? The Dexcom Share has Bluetooth capabilities built right in! Dexcom Share allows the diabetic to share his or her blood sugars with up to five (5) people using their iPhone or iPod Touch devices. The diabetic installs the Dexcom Share2 app to monitor the users who they share data with. It is easy to also check your level if the Dexcom receiver is out of reach (however there is about a 5 minute delay, so it’s not quite as accurate at looking at the receiver itself.) The diabetic needs to invite a follower through the Dexcom Share2 app via email. The follower (AKA spouse, parent, caregiver, friend to the diabetic etc.) then would need to also have an iPhone, accept the email invite, and follow the steps to download the Dexcom Follow app.
Upon setting mine up, I quickly became disappointed. I should have done more research before getting sooo excited (but hey, that’s just how I am). The one person who I wanted to be checking my blood sugars on a regular basis, my husband, recently made the switch from iPhone to android. Instead, I invited my t1d friend, my brother and my sister to download the app and check on my sugars. My thinking is ‘if I’m away from my hubby, I’m typically with these people. If I have a low blood sugar, they will be alerted and be able to help me fix it.’
I guess that didn’t help much. My hubby has been curious whenever I’m not with him! He tried to switch back to iPhone, and get the new one, but for right now, the prices are not reasonable. His other choice would be to start using his old iPhone again, but he hasn’t yet wanted to make the switch.
The new Dexcom with Share could be a great tool! Some of us just need to get our ‘ducks in a row’ to be able to use it properly. For me, I’m still using the good ol’ dexcom receiver to track where my blood sugars are and where they are headed. The alerts seem to be even more louder than before, and really made me pay attention to it. My friend has occasionally been checking the app, but more out of curiosity than anything else.
Today I had all intentions of doing yoga after work. Checked my blood sugar after clocking outta work. 69mg/dL. Diabetes didn’t agree. Sh*t!
If it weren’t for the fact that this instructor makes my blood sugars plummet every-single-time I take her class, I would have gone. So instead of running into a great yoga class, I’m sitting in my car, drinking juice boxes and waiting for my blood sugar to go up!
The whole situation made me think of how many times I avoid doing things because of my diabetes. Or how many times other times I have to do something because of my diabetes? So I compiled a list of the top 10 things diabetes does to complicate my life.
- Avoiding a Yoga Class because of an already low blood sugar (or any other exercise). As noted above, I am pretty upset that I am not working out right now. Sports in high school where also pretty rough. But, I made it through!
- Avoiding meals with big carb counts to avoid a high (and unpredictable) blood sugars hours later. Pizza, raviolis and lasagna being the worst for me!
- Getting out of bed in the middle of the night because of a low and needing juice and/or a snack. It happens way to often. I’ve learned to go to bed with a juice box beside me, but some nights, that just isnt enough.
- Getting out of bed in the middle of the night because for a high. It’s a telltale sign that I’m high when I need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Occasionally I will wake up to extreme thirst from a high, but typically I have something to drink next to me.
- Driving because of a low blood sugar. Driving with a low blood sugars causes you to drive as though you were drunk. (It could be considered DUI if you were to get pulled over. If you were given a breathalyzer, your blood alcohol count could also be above the ‘normal’ limit.)
- OmniPod or Dexcom alarming at the most awkward times. Last week, I was in church sitting behind a t1d friend of mine. We both use OmniPod. We heard it alarm, and both of us put our hands over it to silence the noise. She was the culprit and it was her pod telling her it was time to change. But, that’s not the point! It was a very awkward time to alarm!
- Wardrobe Malfunctions. I wear two things attached to my body 24/7… The OmniPod Insulin Pump “Pod” and the Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor “transmitter.” It can be very difficult to wear the outfits I want to wear each day because of a pod or transmitter placement. Today, nothing fit ‘right’ and I could clearly see decom on my upper thy under my pants!
- My Mood. With a high blood sugar, you’d think I was full on PMSing. With a low, I act like I’m stoned. Just no winning.
- Not always quite feeling “safe.” I can never have enough snacks on hand. I can never have enough insulin in my test kit. I can never quite eat enough with a low. I can never quite get myself enough insulin to bring down a high. It’s a balancing act, and it’s definitely hard to feel safe at one blood sugar. It can easily change 10 minutes from then!
- Being able to just pick up and go. Nope, can never quite do that. My husband and I once went to the grocery store, and he was paying, so I left my purse, wallet and meter at home. In the middle of the super market, OmniPod started doing the ‘scream of death.’ I had an occlusion and no meter with me to turn it off. Needless to stay, I put my arm over pod to somewhat silence the noise, but we got some mighty strange looks when I grabbed something off the shelf! Living with diabetes always makes me wonder “how long will we be out?”, “Do I need to bring my purse & meter?”, and “Do I have enough test strips / insulin / glucose tablets until I get back home?”